Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

, , , , | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Hopeless | April 13, 2016

(I have had a sudden allergic reaction, but since my partner is at work and we only have one car, I have to take the train to go to my regular doctor. I look like I’ve been stung or punched, I feel feverish, and I can’t stop itching. I start to cry slightly out of frustration and pain. A clearly homeless man gets on.)

Man: “Miss? Miss? Are you all right?”

(I shake my head, still crying. The man pulls out a bag of stuff that shelters commonly give out, including tissues and wipes.)

Man: “Are you sick, miss? Do you need a tissue? Don’t cry!”

Me: *sniffling* “Thanks… I’m on my way to the doctor’s, actually. I’m having an allergic reaction plus a bad fever.” *the man hands me a small pack of tissues*

Man: “Do you know how to get there? I could get off and help you.”

Me: “No, it’s okay. I know the way.”

Man: “Are you sure?”

(I thanked him and got off at the next stop. No one else even noticed me, but he had!)

A Beautiful Gesture

, , , , | King of Prussia, PA, USA | Hopeless | April 4, 2016

(I am at work when an elderly man come in with his wife. He and his wife sit down at our beauty studio where the employees usually apply makeup to the customers. The woman sits in a chair while our makeup artist give him brushes. Seeing this from a distance I get curious.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, I apologise if I am intruding but I just wanted to ask why you’re learning how to apply makeup to your wife?”

Husband: “Not at all. My wife is going blind, you see. I want to learn to apply her makeup because I want her to feel beautiful.”

(Such a small but touching gesture. Five years later it’s still one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen at work.)

Understanding Mental Health One Hug At A Time

, , , , | Canada | Hopeless | March 29, 2016

(I have just started a short practicum at a mental health centre, with mental health care included. I decide to swing by the cafe in the centre to grab something before work. It’s very early, so the two baristas are still finishing opening procedures and the only other customer is a nurse who walks in ahead of me.)

Barista #1: *to the nurse* “Good morning! What can I get for you today?”

Nurse: *gives her order*

(As the first barista gets started on the nurse’s coffee, a woman comes out of one of the offices down the hall. It’s clear she’s not staff and she looks very worried. She walks right up to the counter beside where the nurse is paying.)

Woman: “I need a hug.”

Barista #1: “You need a hug? [Barista #2]!”

Barista #2: “Oh, hi, [Woman]. Hug?”

Woman: “Yep. Really bad.”

(Barista #2 hurries around the end of the bar and gives the woman a big hug.)

Woman: “I have to go to the hospital for a meeting today.”

Barista #1: “Oh, that is big. I’ll be right out!” *hands the nurse her coffee* “There you go; have a good day!” *to me* “Just one second!” *to Barista #2* “Can you come help this lady so I can give [Woman] a hug?”

(I’ve had my own issues with mental health, but if this is the way society’s going, my faith in humanity is fully restored.)

Showing Your True Feathers

, , | VA, USA | Hopeless | March 28, 2016

(I work at a chain craft store as a cashier. Two boys, around 16 years old, come through my line with two spools of ribbon – one green and one blue.)

Me: “Did you guys find everything all right today?”

Teen #1: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me: “You don’t sound too sure! Was there anything I can help you find?”

Teen #1: “Well, actually, I was looking for peacock ribbon, but these’ll do.”

Me: “You know, I think I actually saw some ribbon with peacock feathers on it in our Christmas department.”

Teen #1: “Really? Can I go check?”

Me: “Absolutely.”

(I direct the teens to the Christmas aisles and continue ringing up other customers like normal. About five minutes later they come back through my line with two spools of the peacock ribbon.)

Me: “Oh, great! You guys found it.”

Teen #1: *very enthusiastically* “Yup! Can I hug you?”

Me: “Umm… what?”

Teen #1: “This ribbon is perfect! I wanted to thank you for directing me to it!”

Teen #2: “His girlfriend is getting her leg amputated today.”

Teen #1: “Her favorite animal is the peacock, so I was looking for the perfect ribbon to decorate her crutches! I’m so happy I found it! I hope she likes it!”

Me: “Oh, my gosh, that is the sweetest thing I ever heard! Of course you can hug me!”

(He forgot to hug me after the transaction was completed, but I still remember this as one of my favorite customer service stories.)

Putting A Smile On Your Broken Lips

, , , | Paignton, England, UK | Hopeless | March 27, 2016

(I am about six or seven, and we go to the zoo as part of our family holiday. I miss a step and fall face-first onto a bench, splitting my lip open. Blood everywhere, my mother takes me to the bathroom to deal with the blood, and by pure luck some nurses are in there at the time. They take us to the first aid centre, where again by luck there is an off-duty doctor rather than a first aider, which is normally the case. The decision is made that I don’t require stitches and we eventually continue around the zoo.)

Me: *crying to my mother* “I’m not pretty anymore! I’m not your pretty little girl!”

(At that moment a random couple in gothic clothing walk past, with brightly-coloured mohawks.)

Gothic Guy: “I think you’re the most beautiful person in the whole place.”

(Thank you mister for your kindness on a rather terrible day. I will always have the scars on my face, but that day reminded taught me of the kindness of others.)

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